Once again I’ve had to adjust my expectations. I couldn’t sleep or cook in my home tonight. I still don’t have a toilet and my kitchen now sits idle in my living room. On the plus side my fridge might be sitting where I once had a couch but at least I didn’t have to empty it! It is plugged in and functioning. Tonight I am staying with another friend and using their stove. The recipe was contributed by Mrs. M. Roos for the 1906 Berlin Cook Book. I decided to make Devilled Eggs — well really devilled egg as I’m only making one — I needed to keep things simple after a challenging day. I’ve avoided making this recipe since my mother’s devilled eggs are almost good enough for me to eat despite my aversion to eggs. I knew someone in this household would be willing to sample it.
I boiled the egg for about 10 minutes and my friend reminded me to remove it from the stove and cover it with cold water. As you can tell I don’t boil eggs. Once it had cooled I peeled it and sliced it in half lengthwise since that is the way my mother cuts them in half. Next I removed the yolk and mashed it with a fork in a small bowl. I added a bit of salt and pepper and a little pinch of dry mustard powder. I crushed some home dried parsley and sprinkled it into the mixture. Finally I added a dribble of vinegar. I was concerned about the amount. I wanted the mixture to be just moist without drenching it in vinegar or creating a dry filling. I stirred it all together before spooning the mixture into the empty part of the egg white. I bravely sampled some of the filling before offering the completed devilled egg to a member of the household.
Louise and Michael Roos lived on Irvin street in Berlin. I have friends who live on that street and most of the homes have backyards. I wonder if the Roos kept chickens in their yard. I would certainly make it easier and cheaper to make egg dishes with four children to feed. In 1906 the children ranged in age from 5 to 14. Mrs. Roos contributed a number of recipes to the cook book and most are simple recipes like cheese sandwiches and devilled eggs. Her husband was a travelling salesman for a wholesale grocer so perhaps these went with him in the summer.
I was absolutely shocked to discover I LIKED the filling!! Usually eggs taste of sulphur to me but this tasted of vinegar and mustard. My taster also liked the devilled egg and kept trying to determine the ingredients. It seems the vinegar is the surprising ingredient. He thought there was mayonnaise in the mix but of course it is just vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper and parsley. Although keeping up with this project and blog has been a struggle some days it is moments like this that drive me forward. A recipe from 1906 can still surprise me. Not by how it is constructed but by simply challenging my prejudices about certain foods.
I recommend trying this version of devilled eggs. It is the perfect hot weather addition to a meal. I still don’t know how the term devilled came to be attached to what could be called a salad egg or stuffed egg but it has been used with eggs since the mid 19th century.
Boil eggs until hard, take off shell and cut in half, then take out the yellow part, and mix mustard, salt, pepper, and a little parsley and vinegar with it, put back into white part.